Renovators find themselves without power after neighbour turns off supply and refuses to turn it back on

A side on shot of the coach house a side property that is closer to the road
A couple bought a dilapidated coach house (right) that they renovated, however, the person they sold their former house to (left) turned off their access to electricity and refused to reinstall it (Image credit: Google Earth)

A Salisbury couple have been left without any power to their home after their neighbour turned off the electrical supply and refused to turn it back on.

Julia, 59, and Kevin, 58, Sheppard decided to buy a dilapidated former coach house and renovate it to create their dream home but now claim they have been left in a "nightmare" situation.

They say a day after they sold a block of flats next to their house to a property developer, that contained the power supply to their house, the power supply was turned off by him, showing the issues that can come from renovating a house.

What was the developer able to turn off the supply?

Julia and Kevin Shepperd decided to sell a block of flats next to their house and move into a derelict coach house beside it that they bought for £38,000 in 2008.

However, the couple discovered that the new owner of the flats had cut off the power supply to the coach house the day after the sale in December 2022, leaving them without any electrical supply.

The new owner allegedly declined payment for electrics from the flats and rejected cash offers to restore the power connection, which is a private power supply.

Loss of power make new home 'unlivable'

The renovators of the coach house claim they are "stuck in a nightmare" as not only is the home unliveable but they have also been prevented from selling the house.

Mr Sheppard told the MailOnline: "It has taken over our lives for such a long time. We are being held to ransom [ ] and it's really hurt us financially. It's just constant, it's been non-stop. It's just constant stress and our blood pressure is up the whole time. We wouldn't wish this situation on our worst enemy. 

"It's not like it's in a field in the middle of nowhere, we're in the centre of town, we must be the only house in Salisbury with no mains electricity."

Mrs Sheppard claimed: "We are stuck in a nightmare - we can't live in our house, no one else can either. The electricity company won't reinstall a power supply unless he relents. I am certain this was his plan from the beginning."

The couple attempted to supply their own electricity with solar panels but this didn't provide enough supply in the winter. They then decided selling the property was their only option.

They sold the former coach house at auction for £277,000, hoping to put an end to their troubles. However, the buyer, after putting down a 5% deposit on the property, discovered the electricity dispute and chose to walk away, opting to lose £13,850 rather than invest further.

Mr Sheppard said the property developer of the flats had blocked every attempt to sell the home and claimed that: "His ultimate goal now is to get our property for nothing."

A front of view of the house that was sold and to the side is the renovated coach house

The couple moved into the dilapidated former coach house that they bought in 2008, but also decided to sell the block of flats to the left of the property that housed the electrical supply to the home (Image credit: Google Earth)

Why can't the electric company get involved?

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) were contacted by the couple to install a new power supply to their home, but were told this would not be possible.

Since the flat owner is the freehold owner of the land on which the flats are situated, and the only connection to the pylon on the road is through his land, a new power cable can only be installed with his permission.

SSEN confirmed there was no area of land around the house where a new power cable could be installed but did say a compulsory purchase order application could be made by the Sheppards to install a new electric line, but this has not been done yet.

SSEN confirmed: “The property in question used to have access to a private electricity supply, and even before the arrangement which provided this came to an end, we have been open to facilitating a potential solution that’s in the interests of all parties - and that remains the case.

“SSEN has been aware of this situation since the residents concerned made contact with us several years ago with their request for a connection to our network.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.